Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Photograph Mistake - Photo Processing

Taking a photo is a challenging task; preparing your vision, finding your location, and being in the spot at the right time. One can have an eye of photography, but it the world of digital the way one processes an image can make or break your results.

I have been following many types of photographers to have a look into as many different subjects as possible. Many of the photographers do their own photo editing while there is a pretty good handful of those who don't. Honing into those who can't be where I found my errors. I was able to get the images I wanted, but I later found out that my edits were what people didn't like. One of my problems was the color in the images and that I was using black and white when it shouldn't be used.

Like many males in the world, I have a type of colorblindness that affects how I process my images. I have problems seeing similar colors. For example orange and red, blue and purple, green and blue, and so on. This feedback was hidden for some time as when I asked friends and family why they said they liked the images, but none of them would purchase one. Turns out they liked the idea of the photo, liked the composure, liked the lines, but didn't like how I processed the image.  I made a mistake. I put my nose up and told myself, "My art, my way."

For months, I continued to edit the photos my way and continued to have the same results. What made it click that I was doing wasn't appealing to others? It was a discussion at work with colorblindness and how something looked horrible to me while just about everyone else in the room liked it...exception was a few of the males in the room. That night I looked at my demographics on Facebook and noticed that around 80% of those following me are females! Immediately, I knew I had to change how I process my images if I wanted to sell them, but at the same time create the images I wanted to share.

As a result, I was able to find a product online that helped me with color, and that has been my game changer. I found the ColorChecker Passport from x-rite photo. This is a pocket size solution that allows you to have consistent, accurate colors.

What this product allows you to do is simple. By holding this product up (or standing it on something), it exposes at large array of color squares. These colors are common and are found in many images; skin tones, water blues, sky blues, grass greens, leaf greens, and so on. Opening up Lightroom, you are able to export this image into the plugin that will build this image a color profile. The software knows what the colors should look like and is able to make a customs color profile that you can apply to the images you took at the current lighting situation.

Starting to use this product, even with my colorblindness, I finally started to get positive feedback on my images; "Fantastic colors", "Wow, those colors are amazing", "How did you get these colors when you are colorblind". At that point, I knew that this investment was one of the best ones for me. I started to sell the images and quickly paid off the $100.

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